Medford schools could benefit from new levy

Medford, Ore. — Your vote could help fund the future of Medford high school students. Medford School District wants to expand its programs to help students kick start their careers. Now, it’s up to voters to decide if they’ll help pay for it.

The district has approved asking voters for a $25 million bond. The money would go toward new facilities to expand the career and technical education program. School leaders said it’s an investment in both the students and the local economy.

Medford school board announced Tuesday morning, it will add a levy to the May primary ballot. It said it’s something that’s been under discussion for several years and part of the superintendent’s vision to create career pathways.

If the levy passes, it will support career technical education classes at Medford high schools by adding facilities and space.

“It’s exposure to a lot of careers and a lot of options that don’t necessarily require a four-year college degree, where you amass a lot of student debt. This is a practice that can help kids across the board find relevance by connecting career to class and keep them engaged in school,” said Karen Starchvick, board chair for Medford School Board.

School leaders said nearly 50% of Medford high school graduates do not attend a four-year college or university. It said money from the levy will help the local economy as many students can use CTE classes to get jobs post-high school.

The levy will cost homeowners $0.12 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. For example, someone living in a home worth $265,000 would pay about $32 a year.

NBC5 News reporter, weather forecaster, anchor Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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